Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Marriage... and a last look at the Gosselins

Ok – last time I’ll discuss this family. Promise. Actually, the focus of this post isn’t the Gosselins. It’s marriage. But the Gosselins are what prompted it. Here are a few things we KNOW...

Speculation: Jon has had an affair with another woman.
Speculation: Kate has had an affair with her bodyguard.
Speculation: The couple is very unhappy. (most likely fact, too)

Fact: The Gosselin's are currently married.
Fact: The Gosselin’s have 8 children.
Fact: The Gosselin’s live in PA.
Fact: The Gosselin’s have filed for separation/divorce.
Fact: Divorce tears apart a family and makes God weep.
Fact: Anger, bitterness, resentment, cruelty, disrespect – all these things can wreck a marriage long before an affair comes into play.
Fact: Having children changes the balance of the relationship between husband and wife.
Fact: Stress changes the balance of the relationship between husband and wife.

I am a product of parents that divorced… and by the Grace of God… remarried each other after becoming Christians, with faith that God would restore their love for each other. I have also experienced very rough patches in my own marriage where I became an awful, manipulative and ugly woman. No, my husband and I have NOT been unfaithful to each other (by the Grace of God), but have certainly broken trust with each other and hurt each other greatly in many other ways (finances, lying, manipulation, etc.), and for many years, I operated as the lone bandit, rather than as a team with my husband. It was hurtful to him. (yes, I have a type-A controlling personality, why do you ask?)

I can firmly say – with first hand experience on both ends (child and spouse), without hesitation, and with love and kindness: a rotten marriage CAN work. God weeps over broken marriages, and wants us to draw close to Him and trust Him to work out our problems.

When we get married, it isn’t an “outfit” we choose to wear that we can discard when it gets old, worn, or dirty. It is a covenant we enter into between God and our spouse. Husbands and wives who profess to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are called to seek reconciliation in their marriages. It won’t be pretty. It will be painful. But we’re called to do that, and it can be done when we make Christ the center of our relationships!

God CAN change hardened AND broken hearts. He can place the lost love, trust and forgiveness back into the marriage, and he CAN make it work. No, it isn’t easy, and believing that it is would be ridiculous and naïve. It is, however, worth it. For you, for the kids, for the covenant you made before God.

My heart is saddened for this couple and their broken relationship that is so publicly covered by news and media, but Jon and Kate are not the only ones that are walking in brokenness, despair, hurt, betrayal, and pain. In fact, 32-34% of Christian marriages are documented to end in divorce. ONE IN THREE!!

Marriage is fragile! Just like an egg, it can crack very easily under pressure – especially if the foundation isn’t firm. If your marriage is teetering, and you’re struggling, you probably already know that you’re not alone. But what I want you to take from this post is this: No matter what the pain is you’re suffering, no matter what the betrayal, hurt, or brokenness you find yourself in right now, God is bigger. Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean your marriage is immune to problems. It also doesn’t mean that a separated Christian marriage will turn out with a happy, spiffy ending all tied up in a nice bow.

It just means that we have a greater power for anything you’re facing. No matter what the circumstance… GOD IS WITH YOU and he can help you overcome difficult hurdles. That will never, ever change. You may feel pain, darkness, loneliness, but God will be there for you.

If you’re trying to make a difficult relationship work, my advice would be “deflect blame” back to yourself, even though you may not think you are wrong or have any blame, and start working on changing yourself. No matter where blame may lie, you will always have character traits that need to be changed, softened, and turned around.

Forgive. Love. Be kind, compassionate, and caring. Remove the ugliness. Speak gently, encourage, uplift, and place yourself in the other person’s shoes. Pray for God’s powerful love to fill your heart for your spouse. It CAN happen. I am living proof.

As for he Gosselins: I pray they choose to stop the show so they can raise their family in peace and privacy, while working on their broken relationship. I pray they focus their attention back on Christ, and, I pray that God will place people in their lives that can show them His love, and teach them how to love each other again.

Truth: We must love each other. Mark 5: 1-2
Truth: When we forgive someone that has sinned against us… Christ will forgive us too! (Matthew 6:14, Luke 17:3-4, Mark 11:25)
Truth: We CAN find perfect peace… and it isn’t by divorcing our mate. It is by turning to Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 26:4)
Truth: We CAN attain knowledge and good judgment through Christ! (Psalms 119:65-66)
Truth: God will reward us when we put him first (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Truth: We must learn to be humble (Philippians 2:3-4)

My personal testimony is rather huge, scattered, and crazy, but in case you're interested, here's a small peek into my life: Window one; Window two; Window three


Donnetta said...

This is the second post I've read just today regarding hurting and broken marriages. And definitely not the only venue this theme seems to have been resonating lately.

Thank you for sharing this! Praying God uses your testimony to encourage and inspire others towards restoration, reconciliation and healing!

boomama said...

Amen, GiBee - absolutely beautifully said!

Susanne said...

Thank you GiBee. What an encouraging post for marriages.

Noelle123 said...

It's sad to see the downfall of Jon and Kate. Perhaps there are steps that can be taken before relationships get to that point. I had to re-evaluate my relationship with my man and came to rediscover the prince he is. There's a book that also helps challenge women to take a deep look into their relationship and I'm going to recommend it to everyone, even if they are in a happy relationship! It's a good step to keep you from getting to a bad point in the relationship!